Monday, February 3, 2014

Q&A With John Grisham

John Grisham hosted a mammoth fan Q&A on his Facebook page last week. I find the Facebook chats interesting because so many questions can be answered in a short period of time, and although the answers are also brief, you tend to get real information, instead of super filtered answers. 

Here is a recap of the most interesting questions and answers (in my opinion). I put answers in two categories: Anything to do with Future Books and Advice on Writing.

You can find out about future Facebook chat's with John on his Facebook page (John Grisham).  



Helen: What's your next book going to be about?

John Grisham A legal thriller (surprise) but not one from Ford County. It will probably be an "issue" story, a novel wrapped around an issue that has me ticked off these days.

Eva: Please continue to write for young adults, choices are limited. Perhaps encourage your favorite authors to write young adult books as well.

John Grisham Thanks. Writers are a prickly bunch and it would not work if I passed along any suggestions.

Thomas: I love the books. What about a sequel to the street Lawyer?

John Grisham Thanks. I don't have an idea yet for that sequel.

Dave: Will you do any similar story to a painted house

John Grisham Maybe. Yes. I would like to continue with that family (my family) as Luke grows up in the sixties.

Christi: Will you ever have female as a main character? FEMALE ATTORNEY?

John Grisham Funny you should ask. The legal thriller I'm writing now has a female attorney as the main character.

Linda: Do you plan to pen a sequel to Sycamore Row?

John Grisham That would be a tough sequel. I'll probably go back to Ford County and write another novel with Jake as the hero, but not for a few years.


Joshua: Any advice to a young aspiring authors?

John Grisham Read, read, read, and write at least one page each day

Quincy: Can you give a quick overview of the process of developing the book, as in the character development/storyline?

John Grisham It all starts with an idea, then progresses to the point of seeing the opening (the hook), the middle half, then a compelling ending. If and when that works, and it seldom does, then I actually begin writing something - an outline. The outline is tedious, but I can't write a novel without. The characters come along and fit the plot, not the other way around.

Sharon: Are your books based on people you know?

John Grisham No. I don't want to get sued.

Marge: where did you get your most memorable story idea?

John Grisham The Innocent Man, from an obituary in The New York Times. It stopped me cold and I knew instantly I would write the book.

Ashley: What is the process you go through when writing your amazing stories?

John Grisham I spend a lot of time planning and plotting before I actually start writing.

Ernie: Too many posts to peruse, so not sure if you've answered this yet. Where do you get the character's names?

John Grisham It's always a challenge because each novel has about 200 names. After 30 books, it gets more complicated. Phone books; obituaries; football programs; box scores. I once wrote a book in which the first 20 characters were all major league second basemen before 1940. They're all dead so they can't sue.

Cody: What was your inspiration for Bleachers? That story played out true in my life too.

John Grisham I was jogging one night around the local football field and there was a group of ex jocks sitting together re-living their glory years. One thing led to another...

Steven: How hard is it to no be "repetitive" or use ideas that you have used before - or maybe even have forgotten you have used before?

John Grisham I worry about the David versus Goliath elements in some of my books. Frankly, though, there are too many good stories out there about lawyers, trials, law firms, etc.

Brian: What or who inspired you to become a writer?

John Grisham A trial I witnessed inspired me to create the story that became A Time To Kill, which didn't sell at first. The success of the next book, The Firm, allowed me to close the law office and write full time.

Karen: What was your most emotionally taxing novel to write?

John Grisham Tough question, but I'd say the first one. I still cannot re read the first chapter of A Time To Kill. I didn't have a daughter when I wrote that, almost thirty years ago.

James: What was ur most favorite book to write

John Grisham I didn't want to finish Sycamore Row, and it was already too long. Playing For Pizza was a hoot because I hung out in Italy with some of those football players. We ate non stop and I gained 15 pounds. Skipping Christmas made me laugh, still does. The Innocent Man was fascinating to research.

1 comment:

  1. I used to love his books, but they're not as good now as his earlier works.